Padma Awards- 2021 Harekala Hajabba – a journey from a fruit seller to an educationist
Whether the award is big or small, it has its own special significance. And if we talk about the Padma awards, this belongs to the category of one of the highest civilian honours in India. Padma awards are given in all fields of activities or disciplines like art, social work, public affairs, trade and industry, sports, medicine, literature and education, science and engineering, civil service and other fields of human endeavour.
The Padma Awards are announced every year on the 26th of January on the eve of Republic Day. Padma Awards are given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/services. The Padma Awards are conferred in three categories:
- Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service),
- Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order)
- Padma Shri (distinguished service).
Historical aspects of Padma Awards:
Two civilian highest honours were instituted by the Indian government in the year 1954. One was Bharat Ratna & the second was Padma Vibhushan (in three categories). Further, the three categories of Padma Vibhushan award were renamed Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri through a notification by the president of India.
There is no distinction based on race, gender, occupation or status in the selection of award winners. We all deserve these awards. However, Government servants including those working with PSUs, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for these awards.
Selection Process of Padma Awards
Firstly, the nominations of Padma awards are done in different categories. Those nominations are then presented to a committee constituted by the Prime Minister for the purpose. After research and investigation, this committee places its recommendation before the Prime Minister. After approval, the assent of the President is taken on it.
Medals and certificates are presented to the awardees by the President of India in a formal ceremony. The ceremony is held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. This award cannot be used as a title or prefix or suffix with the names of the award winners.
Padma awards 2021
President Ram Nath Kovind felicitated Padma awardees at Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 8, 2021. A total of 119 people were given Padma Awards for their extraordinary contribution in various fields & disciplines. Seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri Awards were given this year. This list includes 10 foreign nationals, 29 women and one transgender person.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also honoured with the Padma Vibhushan award.
Harekala Hajabba- Awarded by Padma Shri – A man of commitment & Dedication
Despite the paucity of resources, some people do something which is exemplary for society. Harekala Hajabba is one of such true heroes. Without a small description of their extraordinary efforts and contribution to society, this article on Padma Awards would be incomplete. It is a tribute to his struggle from being a fruit seller to an educationist.
The name of Harekala Hajabba was announced as the Padma Shri awardee in the month of January last year. But the award ceremony was not held due to the Covid pandemic.
The 68-year-old common man, Harekala Hajabba, a fruit vendor did an extraordinary job of educating the children of his village. He hails from Mangaluru, the coastal district of Karnataka. He never went to school due to poverty and lack of resources. There was no school in his village. When he grew up, he started selling fruits as a form of employment. His average daily earning was around Rs 150. With this earning of Rs 150 a day, he built a primary school to educate the children of his village and surrounding areas. He put all his savings into realizing his dream of educating the children of his village. He never got the opportunity to go to school, but he committed to changing the destiny of the future generations of his village by providing them with the facility of primary education.
The incident that changed his life
This incident happened a long time ago. A foreigner came to his fruit stall and asked the price of oranges in the English language. Since he had no formal education, he could not understand what the foreigner was asking. At that time he felt embarrassed and realized the importance of formal education. He thought that if I had received a formal education, I could understand what the foreigner was asking. That’s when Harekala Hajabba decided to do something to educate the children of his village.
He started a primary school in the year 2000 on one acre of land which has grown with the passage of time. And the school is now providing education till class X.